May is National Women’s Health Month – a time we get to celebrate the special women in our lives and a reminder for them to take some “me time”. Ladies, this month is for you!
We know how busy life can be when you’re going about your day-to-day lives. Maybe it’s packing your kids’ lunches, taking them to soccer practice after work, picking up the dry cleaning, or doing the weekly grocery run with your last 2 hours to spare for the day. I mean, have you heard of the term superwoman? You basically do it all!
But…have you thought about focusing on yourself for a moment? This month is a reminder for you to practice self-care, to start eating healthier, and schedule those yearly doctor’s appointments you may have been putting off.
Use the 5 steps below and start making your health a priority today!
1.) Schedule those Recommended Screenings:
Regular check-ups are important, and preventative care can detect problems early on and can even keep away disease. By getting the care you need, you have a better chance of preventing disease and injuries. Talk to your ELFP provider to learn more about what screenings and exams you need and when.
• Before going to your next check-up, it’s good to review your family health history and write down any questions or concerns you have. Learn more about how you can prepare for your next appointment.
• Preventative services for women are offered by majority health insurance plans, sometimes at no cost. We always recommend calling your insurance provider to see what they may or may not cover.
2). Pay Attention to Mental Health:
It’s important to keep both your mind and body healthy. Mental health is a vital part of overall health and well-being. It affects how we think, act and feel, and determines how we relate to others, handle stress, and make healthy choices. It’s important at every stage of life.
• Studies show that 1 out of 10 women in the U.S. experience symptoms of depression. Symptoms of depression may include feelings of lasting sadness or irritability, loss of appetite, or problems concentrating.
• Everyone experiences stress from time to time, but not everyone knows how to handle it. Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress.
3.) Practice Healthy Habits
Healthy behaviors impact your overall well-being. Even the smallest actions can help maintain good health and serve as an example to others.
• Getting enough sleep plays a vital role in how you perform and feel each day. Adults are recommended to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
• Avoid distracted driving. Approximately 9 people are killed every day in the U.S., and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes due to a distracted driver.
4). Eat a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet:
Nutrition is essential in living a healthy lifestyle. Cut out those fatty foods and start creating those healthier eating habits.
• Healthy eating plans typically include fruits, vegetables, less dairy (low-fat or fat-free), lean meats, whole grains, and low-sodium. Also, cut the added sugars.
• Folic acid is important for healthy new cells to be created in our bodies. Everyone needs it, but women especially. For those wanting to get pregnant, this can help prevent major birth defects if you have enough folic acid in your body before getting pregnant.
5). Get that Body Moving:
Spring and summer are the best times to get out and enjoy the weather. Not only is physical activity important for your health, but it has several benefits – like lowering your chances for heart disease (the leading cause of death for women).
• It’s recommended that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week, requiring moderate effort. That’s 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Go for a light jog, or walk your dog around the block. Remember, some activity is always better than none.
• More than 1 out of 4 elder people falls every year. Unfortunately, women fall more often than men. So, it’s important to do some strength and balance training a few times a week to help prevent falls.
Now is the perfect time to kick your wellness up a notch and start living that healthy lifestyle you’ve always talked about. Not only will you feel amazing, but you’ll also be setting an example for those you love.